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Tennessee Arts Conservatory Interview with Jennifer Harwell

Tennessee Arts Conservatory in Franklin, Tennessee, is classically focused, with pre professional and competition training.  They engage their dancers artistically and athletically and part of that is teaching injury prevention and nutrition.  For pointe, ballet, and choreography they focus on private coaching.  Additionally, they engage the students at a young age with choreography and one of the ways they do that is by letting them enter their choreography into competitions. The students have regular evaluations and ballet exams, and when they graduate, they are ready for a college program or a professional company.

Tennessee Arts Conservatory is owned by Jennifer Harwell where she is also the Artistic Director. Nashville in Motion, their Professional Dance Company, began as a unique artistic endeavor to bring audiences contemporary dance in collaboration with musical talent.

In Jennifer’s opinion, there are a number of things that set them apart from other dance studios in their area. One of those things is the number of guest teachers and Master Classes they offer. In addition, they offer a guidance program for dance as the next step for students entering their junior or senior year of high school. Tennessee Arts also offers Visual Art and Homeschool classes.  Last, they are developing a Special Needs program (not just dance classes) for kids that will have art, dance and music. In addition to their dance classes, they offer various art classes such as Clay Play, Fiber Arts, Graphic Design and 2-D Design Lab. Also, they recently added Zumba fitness classes.

One of Jennifer’s proudest moments occurred when a student was so nervous about her solo that she forgot the whole thing. They do a lot of improv classes at TAC and that gave her the ability to improv her entire solo – and she won! They had trained her well.

Jennifer believes that the biggest mistake dancers make is not placing enough importance on simple movement both in ballet and onstage. Everyone loves triple pirouettes and front aerials, but rarely do those tell the story. Art and emotion can really resonate in the simple movements, and mastering the perfect tendu will take a lifetime.

Her goals this year is letting go of much of the competition “formula” and going way outside the box in stories and choreography. Another goal is to have more than one recital for the littlest dancers.

Jennifer started Tennessee Arts Conservatory because she is passionate about art in communities.  Whether it’s Visual or Performance Art, all kids should have the chance to find their artistic soul.  Watching students develop, mature, grow and become artists is a gift for Jennifer and knowing the students are finding their identity is a unique blessing they give to her.

If you would like more information about Tennessee Arts Conservatory, visit their website at, contact them through their website, or call them at 615-721-8155. You can also “Like” them on Facebook, connect with them on Instagram, and view them on YouTube.

Anyone who has danced at Tennessee Arts Conservatory is invited to comment on their blog.

. . . biggest mistake dancers make is not placing enough importance on simple movement both in ballet and onstage.

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